from the Latin America Working Group
NOTE: Pax Christi USA has signed onto this letter.
A statement released on Monday, May 23rd as part of the 11th annual Days of Prayer and Action for Peace in Colombia celebrated in the United States and Colombia was signed by 25 leaders of faith-based organizations and religious communities from across the United States showing support for the advancing peace processes and urging U.S. support for peace implementation in Colombia.
Faith leaders from across the United States expressed support for the advancements made in the negotations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerillas and welcomed the newly announced peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN).
Signers called on the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress to support implementation of a forthcoming peace agreement with an emphasis on “supporting the efforts of Colombian civil society organizations to foster truth, justice and reconciliation.”
As the letter explains, “over the next several years, it will be critical for U.S. policy makers to monitor the peace accords and exert diplomatic, political, and public pressure to ensure their full implementation.” As such, the faith leaders “encourage a substantial ‘Peace Colombia’ aid package this year, and for the next several years, to support peace accord implementation. This must be robust and rights-respecting aid which recognizes that ‘post-accord’ does not mean ‘post-conflict.’”
“Only a peace accord which includes the participation of victims of the conflict and is fully implemented can stop this brutal war and help achieve the vibrant and inclusive democracy that all Colombians deserve. Our country can make the choice to stand with Colombia to take on the challenging but rewarding work of building peace from the ground up. As persons of faith, we call on our government to support the efforts of the Colombian people to build a just and lasting peace,” the signers concluded.